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How to Brush Your Dog's Teeth

Keeping your dog's teeth clean can aid in overall health and longevity.  Here are some tips to help you get started.

1. Purchase a dog specific toothbrush AND dog specific toothpaste.  It's important not to use a human toothbrush as dog toothbrushes are the appropriate size and shape for dogs, in order to do the best possible cleaning.  Fingertip brushes are also available if you prefer to reach your fingers in their mouth.  Some people feel this style gives them more control and accuracy.  I personally prefer an actual brush. I like the reach it gives me.  Human toothpaste is not safe to use on dogs.  There are many choices of dog toothpaste that's both safe and formulated to do the best job on dog teeth.  I use peanut butter flavored paste!

My tools
2. When your dog is relaxed, possibly after some tiring play or a long walk, start by getting them accustomed to you touching their mouth just with your bare hands.  It's important to stay calm and relaxed yourself too.  Slowly work on lifting their lips, touching their gums and teeth and holding their face gently. When they are comfortable with your touch, let them taste a small amount of their toothpaste.  This is a time for them to realize this is treat-like and something pleasant.  End by showing your dog the toothbrush.  Let him sniff it and check it out so it's not as threatening when you're actually brushing.
Adjusting to touch
Taking a taste

3.  Once your dog seems comfortable with all of step two, start to flip up one side of his lip and gently begin brushing both his teeth and gums.  Start with brushing only a few teeth during your first try.  Each time increase the number of teeth you're brushing until you work up to your dog's whole mouth.  The inside of the teeth (against the tongue) need little to no brushing as the tongue helps to keep them clean.

4. Now reward reward reward!  Let your dog know he did a good job so he is more eager to allow this again.  It's a good practice to brush your dog's teeth daily or every other day at least.  Just like our teeth, we want to clean off the plaque before it can mineralize.

Your pup will soon be begging for teeth cleaning time with you!

Good Luck!


  1. Such a good thing to do but we tried several times and failed and rely on crunchy biscuits which seems to work for us. Have a serene Sunday and get in some big easy today.
    Best wishes Molly

  2. WE like CHICKEN Flavored Paste. Our mom brushes our teefs OFTEN. We like it beclaws she makes a big fuss about how GOOD we are.

  3. I admit I have let toothbrushing fall to the side the past few months Thanks for the reminder that I need to do it!

  4. Ok, we got to try this out, they do eat most crunchy biscuit treats so they are not bad, but the brushing will make sure. The peanut Butter paste may be the big problem, as that is their favorite treat, and they tend to go crazy over it, will check out other flavors!

  5. I don't think I could ever find a toothbrush small enough!
    Murray is such a good boy.
    Lynne x

  6. An impawtent message! We brush our teeths EVERY night before we go to bed. We like it!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley


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